The "Role Reversal" argument doesn't work because it's exactly what men want

A comic showing role reversal in a literal sense
A comic showing role reversal in a literal sense

The reality of the treatment that women receive, the condescension, the objectification, is that it is men projecting onto women how they want to be treated. This is for a number of reasons that I plan to get into here and I'm sure someone will disagree with me but I'm tired of seeing this argument now that I know the reality of the matter and hopefully, this will help men recognize how their behaviors come across to women and help women learn to empathize more with men.

Men project everything onto women from how men themselves want to be treated by women to all of men's worst faults being turned into stereotypes that are thrust onto women.

    • We'll start with the negative stereotypes about how "women can't drive" The reality is they ver much can and while one can argue that women get into more accidents than men, the reality is those accidents usually cause cosmetic damage meanwhile male-driven car accidents more often cause totals of a car. Women also get fewer DUIs and fewer traffic tickets than men. This results in many auto insurance companies offering lower pay rates to women than men on average.
    • Another stereotype is "women talk too much" and this is also another case where this is not true. Multiple studies have been done showing that not only do men talk much, much more than women when given the opportunity, but they're under the impression that women have talked for much longer than they actually have. One study in particular that I remember was a professor that worked with an all-female, co-ed, and all-male class where she specifically would call on the female students more often. She found the all-female class had more in-depth and on-topic discussions than her co-ed or all-male class, and not only that but even when there was only a 30% increase of women speaking in her co-ed class, she received complaints from her male students who held that 70% majority that the class talks were being dominated by women.
      • Another thing worth noting is that men have the habit of speaking over and interrupting women in conversation and most women have learned that it's not polite to do so and wait until the man is finished. This is not okay, and that's why when someone is called out for it, it's deservingly shameful.
    • Another common stereotype is "Women are shallow" and again, this is not the case. There was a study conducted on a large sample size of heterosexual men and women ranging from ages 20-50 and shown pictures of men and women in similar age ranges and asked which men at which ages were the most attractive. When it came to women, their preferences on attractive men changed with their age, often choosing men who were close to their own age.
Womens result in the age attractiveness study
Women's result in the age attractiveness study

Meanwhile, the men of all age ranges chose the same women within a very short age range the most attractive, making it clear that the average tastes of the average heterosexual man are indeed quite shallow.

Mens results for the age attractiveness study
Men's results for the age attractiveness study

So this is again, another projected shortcoming of men onto women.

Another stereotype is the idea of "Women are too emotional" which is a complex idea but we'll first go back to what was mentioned before with how men will interrupt and talk over women. Women are usually taught to put others' needs first, kindness and compassion being praised as ideal feminine traits for a women to have, this includes consideration and being able to put oneself aside if someone has more pressing issues. Men typically do not share this sentiment, and usually do as they please with women in relationships, including trauma dumping onto them that cause women to realize they are not appreciated as a person, but just a place where the man can unleash everything and that's her primary purpose in the relationship.

Another stereotype is the old "ball and chain" idea, that marriage is somehow tying men down from a better life. There have been many studies that show that, on average, marriage to a woman will decrease male depression, stress, and lifespan rates and increase female depression rates, stress, and lifespan rates. It also shows that there is an increase in the husband's overall health and happiness while the wife will take in an average decrease of overall health and happiness than when she was single.

There is no direct cause for all of this, and the reasons behind such things are very complex and would take very long to explain and I'd be surprised if any of you have gotten this far without just glancing over the paragraphs that don't have associated pictures. And because there is no direct cause for these complex issues, there is no directly perfect solution to fix it all.

Feminist theory certainly offers a great deal in terms of education of the psychology of men and women and how the influence of our forefathers still resonates today in the definition of masculinity and what it means for a man to be a "man" and how finding the definitions of masculinity from previous generations is more harmful than finding it from future generations like many women do. New feminine trends that start with young women first will quickly make their way back to old women who realize the value in this new idea of presenting femininity is something of value, but new masculine trends that start with young men are usually either quickly shot down or pushed into another previous category. There's no inherent value in the "new" masculine as their is in new feminine ideas and concepts.

But education in feminist theory is not the best solution either. Modern feminism does indeed vilify the patriarchy and by extension, men. Feminism encourages the exclusion of men from spaces that have a female majority, which turns into a greater isolation of men which leads to the higher rates of depression and suicide in men. However, getting rid of feminism and its influence doesn't solve this problem either.

Men cannot expect women, who experience higher rates of assault and rape, who have been taught that men are the majority of the offenders of these crimes and need to prepare for the absolute worst scenario when meeting men alone -- i.e. the pre-date ritual of reaching out to a friend to send pictures of the clothes they were last wearing, where they're meeting, who they're meeting and sharing their dating profile so they know the most likely suspect if they go missing -- can be expected to drop their defenses and survival mechanisms that they've learned by keeping these habits as these are the things that have kept them alive just to include men in their communities.

Men do not have communities in the same way that women do, on average. While I'm sure there are a great number of men present on this website that will happily tell their hetero male friends "I love you" meaning it without adding on something like bro/man/no-homo (I imagine the last one is significantly outdated) at the end, the average man doesn't have a community where he's able to openly express these emotions in a way that isn't construed as seemingly homosexual. The modern idea of the "Alpha male" hates queerness in any form. It doesn't like lesbians who are committed to women, it hates gay men for wanting men instead of taking a place where they can have women, it hates trans women for being born men and wearing dresses, it hates trans men for being born women and refusing to present as female.

But on average, the reality is there are a lot of men who have learned to keep their feelings to themselves because vulnerability is not welcome in masculine communities. It's a sign of weakness, rather than reaching out and trying to form a connection, or acknowledge the connection that they have with someone else. They also don't share the same physical intimacy that women share with each other. Women can easily hug or hold one another for comfort or happiness for extended periods of time, men usually do quick hugs that last about a second or two at most. Women can lean on their friends, both emotionally and physically, they can run their fingers through each other's hair, all of it without any kind of romantic or sexual inclination. Men do not have this in their communities, and as a result cannot tell the difference between physical intimacy or sexual intimacy and often conflate the two as the same thing.

This disconnect can lead to a lot of issues in relationships, especially for women when they realize the reason their husband/boyfriend won't touch them on their period is because they know it means they can't have sex with her. It's an incredibly sad and isolating feeling to know that the only reason a man will hold you or cuddle you or even kiss you is for the primary goal of experiencing sexual pleasure.

Now, of course, this all falls under negative projections and negative reactions to relationships between men and women, and I'm sure I went on a bit of a tangent on it. But let's move over to the more seemingly positive projections men have on women. Specifically with issues of cat-calling vs. complimenting.

The Role Reversal argument doesnt work because its exactly what men want

For a lot of men, they crave compliments from women. They want to know that they're doing something right, to receive validation for their existence in a positive way from someone they deem authoritative on the subject. Women often avoid complimenting men just because of the potential for it to derail, for a man to see the compliment as an attempt to get his attention and potentially a relationship, which can quickly turn into harassment of the woman who regrets saying anything at all.

What a lot of men don't realize, especially men who participate in something like cat-calling, is that women don't always want such attention. They receive it in spades from everything and everyone in their life. Compliments on their physical appearance, or even just comments on their physical appearance, is something they've become familiar with from a very young age where the feminine ideal is beauty above all else. Women need to be young and pretty as long as possible, as evidenced by the average man's taste for the most attractive age of a woman. Compliments regarding a woman's person, who she is, her skills, and what she can do also can fall under this category because if it's something as simple as "Wow, you did something relevant to your job? That's so smart" seen as in the first image can come off incredibly condescending.

Another thing men don't realize is that women have built these defenses around men because of what they've learned. 1 in 6 women experiences sexual assault, and if the women in a man's life are not that 1 in 6, it's certain that they know someone who experienced it and tried to learn from their experience. Part of the reason true crime as a genre is so popular is because a majority of the victims are women, and women who have not been victimized do not want to be, so they learn about serial killers, serial rapists, learn their patterns so they can potentially avoid the same fate. All women are aware that not all men are rapists or killers, but a majority of rapists and killers have been men and that's not something that can be discounted.

It's true that these defenses lead to women isolating men from their lives and that men will not have access to the same communities of emotional and physical platonic intimacy that women often have with each other. These cause harm, but no one is asking women to let their guards down to potentially be hurt or killed just because men around them are depressed. It is not a woman's job to save a man, nor is it a man's job to hurt a woman. These are not our designed purposes, but there are obvious disconnects and differences in how men and women are brought up that create problems in everyone's lives. These disconnects can also make it difficult for us to empathize with one another, to understand the other's view point and recognize that our way of life, while best suited for us, can cause harm to others without intending to.

In conclusion, I just want to ask any of you that make it this far to even care about this super long, super boring post, it never hurts to just take a step back and see yourself from the outside when something is going wrong. While you are responsible for your personal actions, you are not necessarily the reason why things are going wrong in your relationships, and a lot of the time we just need to learn to be compassionate and kind as we learn about one another and the importance of creating a more inclusive community that allows everyone to share their stories with those willing to listen.

The "Role Reversal" argument doesn't work because it's exactly what men want
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